ETTORE MAJORANA, a permanent outdoor artwork by CLAIRE FONTAINE

The site-specific work by Claire Fontaine, entitled, Ettore Majorana, is a 20 metre long light installation which takes its name from the illustrious physicist who died in 1938


On Friday June 28th 2019, at 7.00 pm, Planeta presents the permanent work by Claire Fontaine specifically designed for the spaces of the Sciaranuova estate in Passopisciaro (Etna), within the frame of the eighth edition of Viaggio in Sicilia, Planeta – Culture for the Territory project, curated by Valentina Bruschi.

The site-specific work by Claire Fontaine, entitled, Ettore Majorana, is a 20 metre long light installation which takes its name from the illustrious physicist who died in 1938, who – as a boy – spent his summers in the family estate, near Sciaranuova. The material chosen by Claire Fontaine for the work belongs to the tradition of conceptual art and is characteristic of her artistic research. Light and writing allow “enlightenment”, the first physically and the second in an aesthetic and theoretical vision. For the installation, Claire Fontaine chose one of the buildings on the Sciaranuova estate, overlooking the Alcantara valley, where she reproduced in bright neon letters the phrase by Leonardo Sciascia, elliptical of the subject, an anonymous portrait of the missing physicist: “he enjoyed pouring on the ground and dispersing the water of science under the eyes of those who were thirsty for it”.

Placing «in a poetic relationship with the green and fertile landscape and using the metaphor of the “water of science”, the work illuminates the winery with a new light and indicates thirst as another name for desire and curiosity». The text that composes the work can also be read as a description of conceptual art in general, in particular to the artistic practice of Claire Fontaine, for whom quotations are not an added value but a form of dissemination of knowledge in places and contexts that are often unexpected. In fact, every word of Sciascia’s phrase “resonates” with the natural and intellectual context of the Sciaranuova vineyard: a place of cultivation and culture, of wine production and theatrical staging; fun and dispersion are playful aspects of the free creative gesture, the water of science is also that which irrigates the vineyards and transmits the secrets to produce good fruits, the eyes of those who are thirsty are the ones of the viewer who deciphers the blue words on a pink building in the middle of an enchanted landscape, and finds himself reflecting about his own status of thinker in the middle of the countryside.

As Claire Fontaine recounts, the work «refers to a passage in the book The disappearance of Majorana, where Leonardo Sciascia traces a metaphysical portrait of the scientist. Majorana appears intent on staging his destiny as a genius but also wanting to escape from it. He is described as being at one with nature like a bee or a plant, but that he could also escape this, that he had “a margin, a possible line of escape”. Despite this, his escape from his destiny is something that makes him similar to a ghostly being even before his death, a strange person: a foreigner. The lack of respect for authority that he exercised on others thanks to his knowledge was often manifested with an irreverent attitude which disturbed».

The project is accompanied by a bilingual publication in Italian and English with images and texts by Valentina Bruschi, Donatien Grau, project leader for the President of the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Vito Planeta and the interviews with Claire Fontaine and the photographer of Viaggio in Sicilia #8, Roselena Ramistella.

Claire Fontaine is an artist collective born in Paris in 2004. It takes its name from a very popular stationery brand in France, and is composed of Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill, who call themselves Claire Fontaine’s “assistants”, emphasizing the importance of collaboration in artistic practice, questioning the figure of the Author as an assertive decision maker. Their research uses various media, with particular attention to the use of neon and the written words. Their works are born from an analysis of the contradictions of contemporary society and are carried out through actions developed as personal sabotage operations. Claire Fontaine was finalist in 2013 at the prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp and her works have been presented in numerous international exhibitions. Recent solo shows include: The Jewish Museum in New York (2013), the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco (2013), the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici (2016), the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2017), the Städtische Galerie Nordhorn (2018), the Shanghai Biennale (2018), Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers (2019) and the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa (2019).


project: Planeta Culture for the Territory – Viaggio in Sicilia

artist: Claire Fontaine

curated by: Valentina Bruschi

photographer: Roselena Ramistella

opening: Friday June 28th 2019, at 7.00pm

address: Planeta Winery, Sciaranuova, Passopisciaro (Castiglione di Sicilia), Etna. 

open to the public: from June 29th by appointment

telephone: Tel. +39 0925 1955460

email: eventi@planeta.it 

web site: www.planeta.it/viaggioinsicilia

artist web site: http://www.clairefontaine.ws/


social: #VIS8 #planetawinery #readymadeartist



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